The findings showed that people who took up habitual cycling were at 20 per cent lower risk for T2D than non-cyclists.
“Because cycling can be included in everyday activities, it may be appealing to a large part of the population. This includes people who due to lack of time, would not otherwise have the resources to engage in physical activity,” said Martin Rasmussen from the University of Southern Denmark.
Further, cycling can lower the risk of various chronic diseases not only in young people but also people who are in their middle age or are entering old age, the researcher said.
“We find it especially interesting that those who started cycling had a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, given that the study population were men and women of middle and old age,” Rasmussen added.
In addition, the risk of developing T2D appeared to decrease with the time spent in cycling per week.
For the study, the team included 24,623 men and 27,890 women from Denmark, between the ages of 50 and 65, and compared the association between self-reported recreational and commuter cycling habits with T2D incidence measured in the Danish National Diabetes Registry.
It seems beneficial to encourage adults of middle and old age to engage in commuter and recreational cycling to prevent the development of T2D in late adulthood, said the paper published in the journal PLOS Medicine.